Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Wallpaper: the gift that keeps on giving

The room we're calling Noah's room came with a relatively nice, plain textured wallpaper, except that there were peeling edges, lots of holes to patch, and some globs of something on it.  With the peeling edges, I looked at it and thought it would pull down relatively easily.  You know, it's starting to fall of the walls in a few small places, it's prime to just come right off.  Ha ha.  Joke's on me.
I started the job inside the closet where the paper did peel right off - yay!  It left a yucky, yellowed glue texture all over the walls, but the paper itself just came right down.

It turns out, the inside of the closet is not built with sheetrock, it's built with melamine (that pre-finished white shelving material).  As soon as I turned the corner and made it around to a wall that's in the room, this happened...
Do you see the little bits of paper that I'm getting off?  I was working in square inches instead of square feet.  This was definitely not going to work for us.  I calculated the cost of panelling the rest of the room (one wall is panelled already), considered the time/mess/expense of pulling the walls completely down and putting up new sheetrock, and generally got grumpy about the fact that we were not going to be able to paint these walls on our next visit...
Enter new tools.  Brian bought all the best tools of the trade for me to conquer my wallpaper demons.  The other problem that we discovered very quickly into the process was that they wallpapered pre-trim.  We had to take all the trim off from around the doors and windows to get to the corners of the paper. Sigh.
Paper's down, now what about all that glue?!
Ugh, they applied the glue thick in some places and thin in others.  The drywall job behind the paper isn't the best, we're going to have to clean up that job quite a bit before we can declare the walls ready for paint.
Finally, I can see white walls!!  What started out as an expectation of a day or two turned into 3 visits to the condo, probably 40 hours all total and lots of aching arms and shoulders from scrubbing the glue off those walls.

In the meantime, Brian went to work on getting the bathroom next door ready to update.  It was fully panelled and a pretty small space.  After looking around at cabinets/sinks and styles that we want, we decided that the style we want doesn't go with panelling in the bathroom, too much competition.  So, the panelling came down...  And he found more wallpaper underneath!  It was obvious that the people who put the panelling up attempted to take down the wallpaper, realized that it wasn't going to just fall off the walls, and covered it.  Next visit - wallpaper removal in the bathroom.  I expect that we'll have a slightly easier time with this one because we learned a few techniques from our initial experience, the wallpaper is a different variety (not textured), the glossy surface of the wallpaper is mostly down already, we just have to pull the paper backing and glue, and we now have the tools/supplies ready to go!